I recently decided to change business banks. And, as I discovered, when you decide to do this, you must have your personal ID, your articles of incorporation, and your EIN verification letter. I know my EIN number by heart since I’ve been in business 20 years, but that’s not good enough for the bank. In fact, they want the letter from the IRS on stationary that was sent 20 years ago—and while I have kept many, many files I couldn’t put my hand on the EIN verification letter.
For those who are unfamiliar with the EIN verification letter, it is a confirmation letter that the IRS sends out for every EIN application it processes. This EIN verification letter is called CP 575, and the IRS mails it to the address listed on the SS-4 application within eight to ten weeks of issuing your company a Federal Tax ID Number.
As I discovered, sometimes your company’s bank or a vendor may request to see your EIN verification letter. Unfortunately, it is common for people to misplace this letter. In addition, it seems that many international business owners never receive the confirmation letter—it appears to get lost in transit.
If either of these scenarios happens to you, don’t worry—there is a solution if you don’t have possession of the EIN verification letter. You can contact the IRS directly at 800-829-4933 or at (267) 941-1099 (if you are not in the U.S.) and request a replacement confirmation letter, called a 147C letter. The IRS will fax it to you upon request.
Unfortunately, no one is able to contact the IRS on behalf of your company due to its strict privacy policies, so your assistant can’t do it. So you must do it yourself, and you if you are going to call the IRS, you have to go in with a determined attitude. The first time I called, I was told via a recorded message to call back and was disconnected. I found that Wednesday and Thursday tend to be better days to call. Be prepared for lengthy hold times when you call the IRS too. The hold times tend to be shorter the earlier in the morning you call, so try calling as close to 9 AM ET as possible.
And when you get the precious EIN letter this time, scan it and save in on your computer, so that you are not scrambling for it should you decide you want to open a new business bank account in the future!